I was very active for a little while (Premium AP, went to DW a few types, Disneyland AP for years)…
February 2023 will be my first trip back to Disney World since 2019, but this time with a 3year old and a 6month old! We are staying in a studio at AKL (Kigali village).
We will have our double stroller. It fits the Disney standards. Any recommendations on driving vs taking the bus shuttle? I am pretty we will bus to MK, but for the other parks I am still not sure.
Any recommendations for toddlers? I guess my main question is how do you judge if your child is ready for a ride. My son is VERY tall (already 40 inches) so he could ride Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain, for example. But I don’t want to scare him for life. I also have no idea how he will react with meeting real-life characters; he loves Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh.
I am also trying to not pack our day too much, making sure we make it back to the hotel everyday for resting/nap/swimming.
What about Genie+? Worth it even with a toddler? Or is rider switch good enough? I am thinking of buying it, but it’s so annoying to have to buy it at midnight and then select your first LL of the day at 7am. Unless I misunderstood?
My plan is to do one park a day, four days.
I am very excited!
That’s super exciting! I have 0 advice about children, but I would definitely drive to the parks except for MK. As far g+ goes, you don’t have to book at midnight but that’s when it is available to buy for the following day. I think it’s definitely worth it in MK and HS especially. There are several threads with lots of great tips here in the forum and you have plenty of time to read up on them. It’s going to be great to be back either way.
I have been reading a bunch of the threads, but very little comments about toddlers! I think I am going to show my son YouTube videos for some of the rides and see what he thinks. I am mostly scared of getting all the way to the front of the line and then he gets super scared and we have to leave. But I want everyone to have fun!
And thanks for the driving advice, will definitely follow on it!
Yeah that’s tough, but I don’t think you’ll really know until the moment unfortunately. Hopefully someone with actual children will chime in.
We visited with our son when he was 1, 2, 4, and 5. He was a tall 2 year old but we didn’t want to have him do any “big” rides. When he had just turned 4, we let him try some of the rides but he honestly wasn’t a big fan of them until he was 5.
We took our then 3yo twins to WDW this spring and found genie+ absolutely worth it. They are smaller (38”) but everything they could ride, they loved. They weren’t crazy about anything requiring 3D glasses for the most part, but liked all the outdoor rides for sure. We had one instance where one wouldn’t get on 7DMT but I think it was mostly a tired/hangry issue because she rode it another day and loved it. We started with smaller rides and worked our way up.
I did write a trip report here if you want to see exactly what we did, but we drove to all parks except MK and I’d do it again for sure. My kids are not early risers so we only rope dropped once and it was by accident.
Thank you, I just read your trip report! You confirmed my suspicions on 3D movies and little children. My son was terrified by the Planetarium the other day, so I was planning on skipping most of them. And thanks for the driving insights!
It looks like there were no return to the hotel in the afternoon; I’ll have to think about that one.
We are (at the moment!) early risers, so we can probably make RD most mornings, but I don’t think it will be 100% necessary after reading your report!
True, we never took a “midday break” but we also weren’t doing early mornings or late nights. With one exception, we kept with our regular sleep/eat schedule. The only day we stayed late, we didn’t even go to the park until 3.
I am a big fan of WDW transport but with a double stroller and kids that age, driving is so much easier, except for MK. My kids (now 5 and 7) have alway been tall for their ages and I’m big on encouraging them to try whatever they are newly tall enough for. This has had mixed results…both have loved BTMR, Splash and 7DMT since they started riding those. They also both claim FoP as their favorite ride (both were tall enough around their 4th birthdays). Somehow they are fine with Dinosaur, but EE and SM got the response “well…I’m glad I tried it but I don’t want to ride it again.” They also have an on and off tolerance of ToT and neither of them like MFSR or RotR. It seems to be the dark and the loud elements that bother them, not the ride itself…which again is why I don’t understand Dinosaur being the outlier.
Also, during my first trip with my kids when they were 3 and 18 months, I didn’t think they would be into characters (because they had been afraid of sports team mascots locally), so I did not schedule any time for meet and greets. Characters and their interaction with the characters ended up being the most awesome part of the trip and what got me hooked.
Similarly we always scheduled in a midday break at the hotel when the kids were that age but half the time they would fall asleep in the stroller in the park and then by the time we made it back to the hotel with all the transfers, they were wide awake. I’d just be open to pivoting if/when they pass out in the stroller, finding a shady spot to people watch while the kids nap and trading off with the other adult(s) in the party to go explore on your own.
I would drive to all the parks except for MK. Waiting for a bus at the end of the day with a baby and toddler sounds rough to me. Plus it’s faster to drive.
That totally makes sense! I think I will put a break in the schedule and see how it goes. My toddler still easily naps 2-3hours every afternoon right now, but who knows in 5 months? He can totally sleep in the stroller.
And great for the characters! I am putting something like 1-2 meet and great everyday, and we can always change our minds after the first one.
That was my first impression. My husband was not too sure (we usually don’t even rent a car at all) but we need one for the first part of the trip anyway.
Your children may react differently to face characters than they do for non-face (fur or mask) characters. So how they do for one may not hold true for the next one if they’re a different type. Some kids have a strong preference!
I think if you ease into the rides you should be okay. Like on the first day, start with all of the rides that will be most likely fine (Dumbo, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, etc…MK might be good since there are so many). Then depending on how things go, end with one that is a bit scarier (Barnstormer?). Then you’ll have a better idea for the next day’s plan. Personally I think BTMR and Splash are too scary for a 3 year old (I’d be way too freaked out about them slipping out of the seat somehow).
Absolutely! My goal is to make sure everyone has a good time. I’ll try some and see what happens.
We are starting at Epcot, so we will start with rides I think he’ll like and build from there! I love Guardians but that one I won’t bring a toddler on.
Lots of good choices at Epcot. Is he tall enough for soarin? That could be a good gauge of what he can handle.
He is! I was definitely thinking of starting with Soarin. If he hates that, I know to not try too much.
We visited an observation tower with a glass floor over an abandoned mine and he loved walking on the glass floor, so I am hoping it’s a good sign.
Edit: he also loves cars, so I think Test Track might be a hit.
The transition scenes in Soarin where it looks like you are about to run into stuff used to freak out my son (still do a little)…but he loves Test Track